Western Energy News

California utility to pay $1 billion for wildfire damages

WILDFIRES: PG&E agrees to pay $1 billion to a dozen local governments in California to settle wildfire damage claims. (Reuters)

ALSO: The next phase of California’s plan to prevent wildfires requires the state’s utilities to come up with a way to determine if their efforts are working. (Utility Dive)

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COAL:
• Peabody Energy and Arch Coal announce a joint venture to consolidate their assets in Colorado and the Powder River Basin. (Casper Star-Tribune)
• The owner of two Wyoming coal plants says more analysis is needed before it can determine closure dates of four units. (Gillette News Record)

PIPELINES: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and members of a Pacific Northwest tribe are condemning Canada’s decision to reapprove the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. (Associated Press)

SOLAR:
• Just two years after Nevada reinstated net metering, the state is ranked third in the nation for solar installation, according to a new report. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
• A Utah-based company knocks Tesla out of second place among the nation’s top residential solar installers for the first quarter of the year. (Greentech Media)
• The developer behind a proposed 300 MW solar farm in Utah has asked county officials for $18 million in tax breaks. (Daily Herald)

GRID: The Southwest Power Pool announces plans to launch a new market aimed at reducing capacity and energy costs of its transmission system. (Utility Dive)

UTILITIES: Nevada’s largest utility is retooling its plan to offer new rates designed to entice large customers who want more clean energy to remain customers. (The Nevada Independent)

TRANSPORTATION:
• The public transportation agency that serves Hawaii’s Big Island has purchased three hydrogen buses. (Hawaii Tribune Herald)
• The transit agency for Spokane, Washington has purchased two electric buses with money from the Volkswagen emissions settlement. (Spokesman-Review)

POLITICS: The Oregon Senate has approved a bill classifying trash incineration as “renewable energy,” a move that might extend the life of a Salem facility that aggressively lobbied for the change. (Salem Statesman Journal)

COMMENTARY:
• Former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and a former state legislator say Oregon lawmakers considering cap-and-trade legislation “need only look to their southern neighbors to see that capping climate pollution and funding solutions supports a strong economy.” (The Oregonian)
• A columnist for the Arizona Daily Star says state law seems to support a Tucson woman who says that her homeowners association can’t charge her $500 to have an architect review her plans to install a solar array.

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